Anxiety is a normal part of life. For some people, it is a passing emotion, but for others, it can be crippling and dreadful. The latter is known as anxiety disorder, a mental illness characterized by sweating, trembling, hyperventilation, increased heart rate, weakness, and insomnia, among others. There are several types of anxiety disorders, and every individual may experience them differently.
Major Causes of Anxiety
The specific cause of anxiety is unknown. However, various factors, such as life experiences, stress, genetics, and brain biology, may trigger or play a role in developing anxiety disorders.
Anxiety is found to be linked to some diseases and is considered a symptom of some health problems. Examples of these issues include heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), irritable bowel syndrome, and hyperthyroidism. Diabetic individuals may also experience anxiety because it causes chemical imbalances in the body.
Health issues may also cause anxiety due to the stress of having them and worries about treatment and the future. Likewise, it can be a side effect of some medications that you are taking. For instance, drugs for asthma and thyroid problems are some medical treatments that induce anxiety.
Stress also triggers anxiety. This happens because chronic or severe stress can cause an imbalance of the chemicals that regulate your mood. Being stressed about a significant event or over many smaller life happenings can result in severe anxiety. Ongoing worry about finances, family health, work commitments, and the future are some of these everyday stressors.
Experiencing or witnessing traumatic events during your childhood years can also result in anxiety disorders. Even adults who have experienced trauma, like accidents and death in the family, can also develop anxiety problems.
This type of anxiety disorder is more commonly known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Individuals who have this condition are often triggered by similar events and have lasting frightening memories and flashbacks of their experience.
Depression and Other Mental Health Disorders
Depression is a mental health condition characterized by symptoms including, but limited to, the following:
- Extreme sadness
- Reduced appetite
- Trouble with concentrating
This condition affects both the individual and the people around them. Depression can be both a symptom of an anxiety disorder or a cause of it. It can have significant adverse effects on your daily life, which can make your symptoms worse, thus resulting in a vicious cycle of depression.
Alcohol and Drug Misuse
Substance abuse can also cause anxiety. Alcohol in moderate amounts causes increased confidence and euphoria in most people. However, prolonged drinking puts you at higher risk for violence due to lowered impulse control and agitation. Those who have alcohol abuse problems who try to avoid or minimize their intake may also feel anxiety due to alcohol withdrawal.
Using opioids, hallucinogens, cocaine, and amphetamines cause feelings of mild anxiety and depression and even psychotic reactions. Anxiety often manifests as the drugs’ effects slowly disappear and are replaced by a sense of dread and sadness. Over time, the continuous use of these illegal substances can also put an individual in a psychotic state. Withdrawal from these substances can cause or worsen your anxiety.
Negative Environments in Early Childhood
In some cases, people who have not experienced trauma but lived in a very destructive environment may also develop anxiety problems. In particular, children who were raised in a house that lacks love, security, and comfort may grow up with feelings of excessive anxiety. They may look at the world with fear of being in danger at all times.
Comprehensive Psychiatric Care in New York and Connecticut
Anxiety is a healthy emotion if it still allows us to function normally. However, if it becomes overwhelming and incapacitating, it becomes a severe health issue. If you know that you are at risk for anxiety disorders, seek immediate professional assistance. Coping with your anxiety alone can be challenging. However, the burden is not yours alone to bear.
Dr. Mark Stracks of Psy-Visions is a board-certified psychiatrist with experience in helping his patients get the optimal care that they need. He caters to adults of all ages and adolescents in our clinics in New York, New York, and Southbury, Connecticut.
You may reach us at (718) 887-2918 for our New York clinic or (203) 405-1745 for our Connecticut clinic. For your convenience, you may also use this secure online appointment form. Let us help you overcome your struggles and live the life you deserve.